It is the question that is on everyone’s lips right as school lets out, graduations are celebrated, kids go off to camp and the summer season begins in earnest: “What are you up to this summer?” I will be around for a couple of weeks, then away with my family for a week, then back again before I head off for a couple of weeks at Camp Harlam in August. In case you don’t know, Camp Harlam is the Union for Reform Judaism summer camp in the Poconos, where many Temple Sinai kids have gone over the year. My kids will be campers during the second four week session. My wife and I will be camp faculty for two of those weeks. If you have kids that are not yet going to a summer camp I highly recommend Camp Harlam. It has all the sports and other activities of a regular summer camp with the added bonus that your child will get to experience Reform Jewish living in a truly fun and kid-friendly way.
What about us grown-ups? My hope and prayer for you is that you will get some genuine down time. For those who are working this is hard to come by nowadays. My other hope is that you will take advantage of some of that time to engage in some Jewish activities here at Temple Sinai that you might otherwise not do.
- Shabbat Worship – In case you missed all the hoopla, in addition to the new playground for our young children we have a brand new outdoor sanctuary near the religious school entrance to the building. Starting on July 6th and continuing through the end of August we will hold our Friday evening/Kabbalat Shabbat services in the Dustin Drapkin Outdoor Sanctuary. Services are early and relatively brief. We will have our Oneg before services, at 6 pm, with services beginning at 6:30 pm. Join us then or join us on Saturday morning at 10:15 a.m. when we will also hold our services outside in the Dustin Drapkin sanctuary, weather permitting.
- Torah Study – I can’t tell you how often people say to me, “I hear you have a great Torah study session on Shabbat mornings; I’d really like to try that.” But, sometimes it’s hard finding the time or energy during the year to join us on Saturdays at 9:00 a.m. If you are one of those people, now is the time to give it a try. We are there every week in Founders Hall (20-30 of us). You need never have opened a Bible before to participate. Come join us!
- Gemilut Chasadim/Deeds of Kindness – Many of the activities that the Temple offers during the year stop during the summer. But, the organizers of Family Promise, our program to shelter homeless families, are in high gear. This week we are providing shelter in our social hall at Temple Sinai to four families, including 4 Moms and 7 kids. They are wonderful families and very appreciative of our help. There are dozens of volunteers involved and we are supported as well by volunteers from St. John’s Catholic Church of Leonia, Christ Church in Teaneck and Kehilat Kesher, across the street from us. We don’t need any more volunteers for this week but we do need volunteers when we host homeless families again, from August 12 – 19. We need people to cook dinner, people who will interact with the families, and people to sleep over in the Temple. Other than sleeping over you can bring your kids to play with the children in the program. It can be a very meaningful experience for them! Contact Stan Laser at 201-446-7313 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or Ilene Wechter at 201871-4885 or Ilenewechter@yahoo.com.
Our rabbis of old taught, “The world stands on three things: On Torah; on worship; on deeds of kindness.” Make your down time meaningful this summer by joining us at Temple Sinai.